About the Author
Jane Wolfe was born in Alberta, Canada. She worked in advertising, public relations and personnel before the lure of history drove her to university. She holds an Honours B.A. in History from the University of Toronto and worked towards her M.A. in Mediaeval History through the University of Toronto and the Pontifical Institute for Mediaeval Studies. She moved to England in 1986 and lives in Chester. In 1996 she founded Fenris Press, which specializes in books relating to history.
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Æthelflæd of Wessex was born at one of the most perilous times in English history. When Horik, King of Denmark, died in 854, strong central rule disintegrated in his kingdom. After Horik's fall there was no longer a king in Denmark who could even attempt to hold his people back from the prospect of exciting and profitable adventure. Indirectly the collapse of the Danish kingdom affected many countries, but it is in England that its consequences are most clearly seen.
The first raids were opportunistic attacks against vulnerable targets, such as unfortified villages and monasteries, which offered easy access to treasure and slaves. But as time progressed so did the size of the sea armies, their tactics and their goals. In 865 a great army landed in East Anglia, prepared to spend many consecutive years in the deliberate exploitation of all the opportunities for profit which England offered.